Cultivating Conscious Consumers has come into existence to encourage mindfulness & action to mitigate social injustices, meditation, sustainability, healing and grassroots community development.
Myself, Sam Segalas-Shaw, Michaela Isham and Matthew Malandro started this club and collaborated with Dylan Cullen, the founder of P.A.U.S.E., to empower and unify our fellow student body. During the first introduction meeting, we initially recognized how privileged we are to have access to safe drinking water. Shortly after, we sent intentions for a more equitable future for Congo and America.
Although sexual violence is happening on a different scale here in a college town than it is in the DRC, the marginalization of women continues at a staggering rate. Women have been abused in the Congo and in America psychologically and physically for far too long. There is so much power in self organization, a large reason why rebel groups feel obliged to rape women. Forced entry is considered just another way to assert dominance. This false sense of strength must be eradicated from societies across the globe.
C.C.C. values the inherent state of uniqueness and equality of each individual. Uniquality! Every person who expressed their major concerns about the harsh implications of consumer culture was displeased at the current state of affairs but hopeful for change. We are the catalysts of the age of advancement. To be so reliant upon cell phones, computers and any other electronic devices that use Tin, Tungsten, Coltan & Gold should make the shift in the socially responsible direction obvious. Unfortunately, many consumers are still unaware about the blood that was spilt for that piece of technology. What is the biggest shame is that innocent blood has been shed by millions during this resource war. If we don't break the silence now, when?
Conflict mineral rankings by company & stickers were provided at the fair :)
C.C.C. & P.A.U.S.E have the ability to reconnect people with their heART centers. We will be fundraising in creative ways to send the recipients of Ibutwa as much money as possible. We look forward to having bake sales and holding Dance for Resilience events as fundraisers.
Our meetings are safe spaces for survivors of sexual harassment to transmute the repressed feelings of violation through the arts. Considering how triggering sexual violence is, we have already created a strong support system as an open community that will take action to prevent these instances to our best ability. Improving mental health is a huge area of focus for the group. The choice between love or fear faces us thought after thought. As a group, we are strengthening our confidence in ourselves by creatively exploring areas of the unknown together.
Chaga specialist, Robin Hanbridge, & sound healer, Kirk Jones, will be amplifying the vibration of the club in the near future. They hold weekly sound baths at the Wellness Collective for $15 every Wednesday night at 7:30. Sound baths bring immense harmony within the body as the sound of singing bowls fill the air and consciousness. One way of honoring ourselves is taking accountability for our health and habits. Awareness is the first step in transformation. As a club, we truly could not be more excited to continue spreading the conflict free movement on the national level. We believe it has the potential to improve the quality of life for people in communities everywhere and be reflected upon the environment in Congo.
Michaela Isham, secretary of C.C.C.
By the end of the hour and a half tabling session at the activities fair in the Finney Quad, we received 58 signatures from intereted first year students alone. All of the officers have amazing feelings about the unfoldment of this semester!
"Healthy self, heal thyself" wise words by Sam Segalas-Shaw, Vice President & lead graphic designer of the netroots #ConflictFreeSociety posts on social media
Our clubs know that team work makes the dream work. Cultivating Conscious Consumers is not the only group of students in college who are advocating for the divestment in technology that is manufactured with conflict minerals. Our club plans on challenging more schools to begin conflict free campaigns on campus so that this conversation extends far beyond Burlington, Vermont. Not only could this lead to expansions for Ibutwa's programs but also inspire artists of all kinds to contribute their creations toward the fight for equality.